Touched by Fire

 

News flash….California is on fire…again. It happens so often now that it isn’t really a news flash. So much devastation. So much loss.  Animals and people fleeing, homes and property burning, not to mention the acres and acres of very dry land and brush.  When will it stop??? Or is this only the beginning. This time it was a perfect storm, a perfect firestorm. While we still do not know how it started, the gale force winds have ensured its feeding frenzy, and it’s rampant.  I was at lunch yesterday with a good friend away from home when it happened and I didn’t even know until my wife texted me and said to be sure to use waze on my way home in case I needed to be re-routed due the to fire. For a second I was incredulous, it’s November…cooler weather…fire season is supposed to be over.  The thing is we no longer really have a fire season.  What we have is fire year round.  It’s been getting worse and worse with no end in sight. Every year it’s warmer…we no longer have what I call a winter. I used to look forward to winter and a break from the damn heat, but now winter seems like a milder summer.  It’s been so warm the last few years we haven’t even used the heater.  In the wake of all this tragedy I cannot even fathom how people can be in denial about global warming and the consequences.  Yet there are many who say that it’s cyclical or deny it’s even happening. I’m here to tell you mother nature is pissed, and she and the earth are fighting back against what we’re doing to her.  We live in a valley surrounded by hills, so the fire hasn’t ever gotten to us, it just surrounds us and chokes us out. It has come pretty near and there have been many times we have watched in horror as the hills around us burn.  Last night my wife’s entire apartment community where she works was evacuated at 3 am. It doesn’t matter how much money anyone has if we destroy the planet we all die, we all burn, and it’s only a matter of time before we are all touched by fire.  

 

As I Am

I have long rued the double standard that exists between men and women in the work place. The difference in what is required appearance wise is particularly upsetting to me. Requiring women to wear make-up just to be acceptable when men are acceptable as they are is most egregious. Even though it is not a stated requirement today, if you show up to an interview au natural you are not likely to get the job, depending on what the job is. What does that say about our society, certainly nothing good. As an experiment when I was looking for work I started to interview without make-up. I decided that I didn’t really want a job where I had to wear make up every day.  So except for a light foundation on days that my complexion needed evening out, I went au natural. I was pleasantly surprised that sometimes it didn’t seem to make a difference. Long story short, I have had several jobs now where I was not required to wear make-up. When I first entered the work force decades ago I’m certain that would not have been possible. I see it more and more now and it makes me so happy.  Today at my credit union I was assisted by my favorite teller. She is bubbly and sweet, and almost always au natural. Today I told her that I love that she chooses not to wear make-up, because I like natural beauty. She radiated glee while wishing me a great rest of my day. Baby steps are not light speed but change, however slow, is still progress. I look forward to the day when women are considered beautiful without modification, to the day when we are paid equally for the same work as men. We have made progress, but we’re still not there. Considering the current political climate and the erosion of some hard won rights, we must remain vigilant, for there is so much work left to do.

Conditionally

 

I love you…conditionally…

Oh I know it breaks with tradition

And it’s not as appealing without the

Characteristic prefix UN that most often accompanies it.

But it’s more honest, and I value honesty.

All things in life are conditional if you think about it…

That’s not to say, that you cannot ever fuck up, make up, or be forgiven.

We are all human, some of us uniquely flawed.

It simply means I am not a doormat to be walked on, neglected, or treated unfairly.

There are lines that once crossed will permanently alter the here and now.

Paths we might choose to walk down from which we can never return.

We should all tread lightly, lovingly, on the landscape of intimacy.

Know that no matter how much I love you…

If there is ever cause to warrant the withdrawal of my love and support from you…

I will walk away, however broken, with what’s left of my heart.

 

July 8, 2018

©Dani Heart